FutureLearn: Business courses on the go
FutureLearn is a massive open online course (MOOC) learning platform launched and wholly owned by the Open University in the UK. It offers online programs from leading universities in the UK, Australia & New Zealand, China, and several European countries. Courses are delivered one module at a time and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop. When all (free) courses in a Program are completed, the learner buys a certificate, passes a final assessment and earns an award. Enrollment is a case of entering your name and email address to register and gain access to the learning materials. No academic transcripts or interviews here.
FutureLearn is a leading example of the new learning landscape. It enables a college-level education without the need for taking a long period as a full-time student. Learners can fit their learning around their other life and work activities. Academic credits and professional certifications can be bought off the shelf when they are most needed, and users can tailor their own education to suit their needs. Courses do have start dates, but they are usually less than a month away.
Business courses from FutureLearn are a good option for busy professionals and budding entrepreneurs. On the business startup side, there is a six-part course from the University of Leeds covering the essentials of Starting a Business. Each of the six courses lasts 2 weeks and requires only 2 hours a week to study. Courses include Vision and Opportunity, Customers and Competitors, and Business Processes.
For professionals who need to expand their number-crunching skills, FutureLearn offer the program Big Data Analytics from Queensland University of Technology, teaching Mathematical Modelling, Data Visualization, Statistical Interference and Machine Learning, and From Data to Decisions.
MOOCs have been criticized for their high dropout rates (which are mainly because it’s so easy to register on them on an impulse). For those serious about acquiring new business skills, though, FutureLearn is definitely one to check out.